James H. “Spider” Souza

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with great sorrow the death of former employee James H. “Spider” Souza on February 17 at Mass General Hospital in Boston.  He was 85.

Jim was born in East Falmouth to Helen L. Souza (Rogers) of Falmouth and Manuel A. Souza of Sao Miguel, Azores (Portugal). He was a lifelong resident of Falmouth.  He grew up amid the farms and woods of Acapesket Road with his siblings Donald P., Jane A., and Thomas A. Souza.  It was a culturally rich and family centered environment with many aunts, uncles, and cousins nearby.

Jim graduated from Lawrence (Falmouth) High School in 1952 and excelled in basketball and baseball.  In 1953, he joined the army during the Korean conflict. He rose to Staff Sargent and was honorably discharged in 1955.  Throughout his life he had a desire to serve his country and served in the National Guard for many years. 

Jim began his career at WHOI in 1956 as an ordinary seaman aboard the R/V Bear.  He was promoted to able seaman in 1957.  He transferred to the R/V Chain in 1959 and left in 1960. He sailed throughout the Atlantic and Caribbean stopping at ports in Africa and South America.   He was re-hired in 1966 in the Warehouse.  He transferred to the Mail Room as a mail clerk in 1970 and left in 1973. After leaving WHOI, Jim worked for the United States Post Office in Woods Hole for twenty years.

He was a lifetime member of the Elks in Falmouth and made many friends.  He also worked at Davis Furniture in Falmouth, and was a highly regarded bartender who served at places such as the Cape Codder Hotel and Woods Hole Golf Club.  In 2004 he was inducted into the Falmouth High School Athletics Hall of Fame.  Jim loved music, games, and sports of all kinds but he was most passionate about golf.  He was an exceptional player and enjoyed playing at Otis and all over Cape Cod with his family and friends.  He will be forever remembered for his love of children and his kindness.

He is survived by his brothers, Donald P. Souza and his wife Sheila V. of Sandwich and Thomas A. Souza of Falmouth; special cousin Mike Rogers; and many cousins, nieces, nephews and two stepchildren. He was predeceased by his wife, Brenda Sylvia.

Visiting hours will be held from 8-10 a.m., on Monday, February 25, at the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, 475 Main Street, Falmouth. A funeral Mass will follow at 11 a.m., at St. Elizabeth Seton Church, 481 Quaker Road, North Falmouth. Interment will take place in the Massachusetts National Cemetery, Bourne, Mass.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Falmouth Housing Authority, 115 Scranton Avenue, Falmouth, Mass, 02540.

Information for this obituary is from the Cape Cod Times